Call for Papers

“Nothing works out, but it keeps going on,” Roland Barthes writes in Fragments: A Lover’s Discourse. Renouncing racialization and disproportionate state violence, for example, shares with this amorous sentiment what Barthes intones as “the same exalted hallucination of closure…. Once the exaltation has lapsed, I am reduced to the simplest philosophy: that of endurance (the natural dimension of real fatigues).” In an effort to perceive something that hasn’t yet been registered, we ask how does one begin to translate the emotions, strategies and contradictions of resistance that arise from our times? However identified, translating the Unbearable begs the question of how to intimate insufferability; how to interpret the entanglements of privilege, conviction, and desire. We invite papers that ask after the discernible echoes of endurance through pessimism and destitution; militancy and radical resistance; critique of the aesthetics of the unrepresentable; maintenance; the affordances and limits of critical pedagogy; etc. These conversations will be split into panels, workshops and reading groups dealing with but not limited to:

-Militancy in Impossible Translation: Is and how is militancy translatable across class, race, gender and national divides and contradictions?

-The limits of Badiou’s metapolitics, the contentious space of a common militant strategy for the left, and the methods of transforming multitudes into organizations

-Translation and disjuncture within or through a common language

-Affective responses to décalage [as defined and translated by Brent Hayes Edwards, The Practice of Diaspora]

-Political and cultural implications of literature of despondency, desperation, and dissonance

-Film collectives and distribution networks

-Literature and journalism

-“Resistance literature” (Harlow)

-Critical engagements with race, gender, queerness, disability, class, citizenship, consent

-Anti-Blackness

-Aesthetic erasure

-The convergence of aesthetics and rhetorical sovereignty (Lyons)

-Intersectionality (Crenshaw) and the stakes of representation

-Slow burn and intellectual legacy

Please submit a 250 word abstract by January, 12 2018 to
translatingtheunbearable@gmail.com